UK & World News
One-Year Ban On Colorado Cannabis Tourism Ads
Tourism chiefs in Colorado have declared a one-year moratorium on advertising "cannabis tourism".
The Rocky Mountain state has become the first in the US to legalise the commercial production and sale of cannabis for recreational use.
A flood of tourists have poured into the state since the new law took effect and companies are springing up to offer a range of cannabis holidays.
One of them, Colorado Rocky Mountain High Tours, provides a stretched Hummer limousine for tours of the newly-licenced cannabis dispensaries. Others are lining up Valentine's Day specials.
But Rich Grant, spokesman for Visit Denver, says the city wants to see if cannabis tourism is sustainable before allowing the new companies to advertise.
He told Sky News: "This is an unknown territory. No-one knows if people will come here as marijuana tourists and how much the industry will grow. You can't base a sound marketing decision on ten days of business."
One problem facing cannabis entrepreneurs is that Denver has only a handful of hotel rooms that allow smoking. Cannabis cannot be consumed in public.
But Debbie Grossett, who travelled a thousand miles to take the limo tour, said she hoped other states followed Colorado's example and legalised.
She said: "I go to buy cannabis here and no-one offers me harder drugs. If I go to buy cannabis where it is illegal, there are drug dealers who offer much harder drugs. This is a better way."
Legalisation has certainly brought a new breed of potential users into stores that previously were allowed to sell only to those with certified medical need.
Dena Singh visited a dispensary for the first time, she said, because of an upcoming surgery.
She told Sky News: "People like me, just regular every day mums probably will give it a try especially if shops turn into more mother-friendly kind of coffee shops. If it all opens up, I think people will give it a try.
"I have thought about it before and was always put off but I think a lot of people will now take action and do what they have always wanted to do."
Dispensary owners say they are seeing three times the number of customers who used to come through the door for medical reasons.
Washington state is due to follow Colorado's example in the next few weeks. Another 18 states, plus Washington DC, currently allow cannabis use for medical reasons.
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